Happy Birthday, Mischa!


Happy Birthday, Mischa



APRIL fifteenth was my beloved Mischa’s birthday.  *Drum roll, please.*  He is now fifteen years old! But I think we can all agree he doesn’t look a day over eight.  And for those of you who have the unique honor of knowing him well and being on the receiving end of his love & his affectionate but forcefull head-butts (looking at you Rob and Dan) then you know he most certainly doesn’t act his age.  As frisky as a kitten, him, and just as cute.


Happy Birthday, Mischa


I SHOT THIS VIDEO late the other night before bed.  He always falls asleep before I do…but he’s just so damn precious I had to record this.  It’s not action packed, but it certainly might make you understand just how adorable and amazing he is – his grasp of the English language is better than most college seniors.  It’s a fact.  There’s a Harvard study that proves it.  Seriously.  He’s the only cat I know that will lay his head down and go back to sleep when told (he also minds more and has better manners than most children I know).




SO here’s to my Mischa.  Happy birthday, sweetie.  Here’s to fifteen amazing years and wishing that you have at least sixty more.  I have plans for my 90th birthday and I fully expect you to be there to celebrate with me.  I may even let you sit on top of my head like you used to do when you were a kitten.  Wouldn’t that be a sight…  You’ve been by my side through incredibly beautiful and incredibly terrible moments and you’ve been there with unwavering love making all of it better.  I don’t even know how to begin to repay you.  Bottomless cans of tuna would be a start, I’m sure.  I love you, you adorable little furball.  Happiest of happy birthdays.


Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick


images + videos  ::  © 2014 alli woods frederick.  all rights reserved.  ::
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A Note to Self with A Dash of Iron & Wine

Note to Self


WRITE some clever, interesting, pleasant, funny and/or insightful words here.  Make sure not to divulge what this photo is really about.  Remember you have boundaries, both professional and personal.

NOT EVERYTHING in your private life is intended for public consumption even though your art is both intensely private and incredibly public.  And yes, that is more than a little contradictory in nature, but you are accustomed to this aspect of both the nature of your work and personality.

THOSE PIECES of your heart and soul for which there aren’t words?  Yeah, those…those pieces are why you create art and why you don’t even attempt to communicate any of it verbally.  So please remember to keep your mouth and words inside the ride at all times.


Theme: White
Title: “…she was born to be the woman you would know…”

Note to Self


“Will the mountain last as long as I can wait?
Wait like the dawn
How it aches to meet the day…”
– Iron & Wine, Jezebel


THIS POST ISN’T meant to be flippant or rude or in any way mean spirited (and I sincerely hope it doesn’t come across that way…I know how wires can get crossed when dealing with the written word). It really is a note to myself.

I GENUINELY and sincerely don’t know how to talk about this piece (or most of my pieces for that matter) in a way that makes sense and still respects my own privacy while allowing you into my world.  But part of the reason I create art is so that I can communicate non-verbally…so explaining it would defeat the purpose of creating it.

I MUST sound like a broken record because I’ve discussed all of this before.   I’m not even sure if any of this makes sense.  It’s been a hell of a day.  A hell of a day.  So thank you for bearing with me and respecting and understanding my boundaries and coming along for the ride anyway.


Note to self:
Boundaries, my dear. Boundaries….which reminds me…

Note to Self


I’M FEATURED in the upcoming Summer 2014 issue of Artful Blogging where I’m discussing that very topic: boundaries.  How to respect your own privacy while still being honest and respecting your readers. It’s a balancing act that’s much harder and much more confusing than you think…especially during the more challenging moments of life; moments that aren’t just mine to share and other people have to be considered…like when I was going through my divorce.

THANK YOU, Artful Blogging, for allowing me to share my story and hopefully a little bit of wisdom.  The Summer 2014 issue hits bookstores May 1st or you can pre-order your copy directly from Stampington & Co. if you’re so inclined.   I now leave you in the more than capable hands of Iron & Wine.  Enjoy.





Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick


images  ::  “…she was born to be the woman you would know…” © 2014 alli woods frederick.  all rights reserved.  if you want to use it on your website, etc, then ask first.  cool?  cool.  thanks.  ::


video  ::  jezebel ©  iron & wine  ::
Posted in Announcements, My Life, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Difference Good Design Can Make

good design

TODAY’S Words of Wisdom is not, in all honesty, one of my favorite expressions.  In fact it annoys the every-loving crap out of me (I’ve been pretty open about my battle with being a Negative Nancy).  I find it trite and annoying and have found that some of  the people that offer this platitude as genuine and sincere advice during the hardest of hard times I find to be much the same.  Harsh but true.  (And don’t even get me started on “God never gives you more than you can handle.”  I bet every person who’s ever suffered a nervous breakdown and every suicide victim ever would disagree with that statement if they could.  I am not a fan of platitudes.)

BUT THIS piece is so cute and designed so well it doesn’t even phase me that it features one of my least favorite expressions of all time.  Yup.  It’s that cute.  So if you’re someone who likes this expression and you adhere to this life view then you’re in for a double dose of awesome.  And if you’re like me and despise it with every bone in your body but love good design and typography, then I have a feeling you’ll like it despite yourself, just as I do.

EITHER way you’re going to enjoy it…I all but guarantee it. *wink*


good design


Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick


image  :: make lemonade by manolya isik  ::
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The Beast Below by Derek Spoonmore


The Beast Below
The Beast Below

– Derek Spoonmore

In bed
We’re deep asleep
What greater love lies further deep
This dream must end
This world must know
That we all depend on the beast below
Above the beast and below the skies
Lies the world that we all never knew
Torment above
Beast below
In this hell
Did we ever know
What lies with us
Heaven only knows


Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick


P.S. – Some of you may think this sounds familiar…especially if you’re a Whovian.  That’s because it was featured in the episode “The Beast Below.”



image  ::  a witch’s vision – paolo spiga  ::
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Trolls: The Official Policy




IF YOU’VE NEVER had the pleasure of encountering the oft anonymous keyboard warriors known as trolls then you are either:  1)  indescribably lucky and should buy me a lottery ticket immediately or 2)  have spent limited time in online forums or reading blog comments.  Either way, count yourself lucky.  But odds are you have had a run-in with at least one of these charming individuals.

FOR THOSE who are unclear as to what a troll is I’ll give you a brief definition:  a troll is an often anonymous individual who posts on forums, blogs, etc in an aggressive and unproductive manner with the sole intention of causing fights, being offensive, etc in an attempt to upset, be disruptive and cause chaos.  Their tone is often abusive, rude, and aggressive.  In short, they’re bullies who decided the playground was too small and opted to take their personal issues global.

ON AN INTERESTING side note, there has been a recent study that demonstrates an overwhelming number of shared personality traits between trolling behavior and several serious personality disorders such as sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.  You can check out the actual study, Trolls Just Want To Have Fun, if you’re interested in all the in-depth nitty-gritty.


So why am I bringing this up now?



ABOUT A WEEK ago I received a touching and thoughtful comment from a troll who registered as Sassy.  Naturally, no real name or identifiable information was given (aside from her email and IP address…I wonder if she knows I have access to that information as the site administrator.  *shrugs*), which is typical behavior for trolls; anonymity is their shield.  This concerned individual was compelled to take time out of her very busy evening to comment on a very old post where she shared her amazing insight and was courteous enough to point out the ways in which I’m “gross.”   Needless to say I was touched.


Where is this comment, you ask?


OH YOU’LL never see it (or any of the others that I have received…and there have been many and they have been far more abusive than what Sassy shared) because I have a very clear way of dealing with trolls.  And it’s this:  I actually moderate my comments.

NOW THIS is contrary to the advice I have read from numerous other bloggers who say let the trolls post and don’t reply; simply let your readers step in and stick up for you.  Ummmmmm.  No.  I can’t even begin to tell you how wrong I think that practice is.  You, my readers, are my friends, not my army and I would never in a million years dream of asking you to jump to my defense.


So here is my anti-troll policy:



KISSES & CHAOS is my home.  When you come here you’re in my house and I like my house filled with love, weirdness, laughter, sincerity, creativity, beauty, ghosts and zombies.

MOST OF YOU are my welcome guests…my friends and internet family and I love that you come to visit and I hope you always feel welcome and appreciated, because you are.  Kisses & Chaos is your home too.

SOME people, however, are interlopers, akin to obnoxious drunk party crashers.  And I have dealt and will continue to deal with party crashers the way I always have…I kick them out of my house.



I HAVE AND WILL ALWAYS welcome intelligent, thoughtful discourse.  If you have a differing view on a topic and want to engage in a thoughtful and mature conversation based on mutual respect that is and will always be welcome here, as will good-natured jokes, playful sarcasm and affectionate teasing.  We don’t have to agree with each other about every single thing to get along and respect each other.  It’s true in life and it’s true on Kisses & Chaos.

BUT IF ANYONE comes into my home to spout vitriol and put their emotional dysfunction on display by being aggressive, rude, abusive or offensive towards myself or my welcome houseguests then their comments will never see the light of day and their emails are not answered.

ALL TROLLS’ comments and emails are marked as spam.  They are then blacklisted so that they can no longer post comments.  In some instances (like when I was being stalked by a complete psycho who, through this site and other means, was being verbally abusive, threatening me and even showed up at my house pounding on my front door at 1 in the morning while sending threatening messages from her cell phone…that was a fun night *eye roll*) I block the trolls from accessing the site completely.


Yup.  I ban asshats.



THIS has little to do with the degree of hostility of the troll and has more to do with my willingness (or should I say unwillingness) to tolerate a troll’s behavior.  It’s a time suck to have to monitor persistent pests and banning them is the easiest way for me to keep Kisses & Chaos my priority and prevent those who prove to be a consistent nuisance to be a drain on my time.

I WANT Kisses & Chaos to always be a place where we celebrate weirdness, individuality, beauty and love.  I never want it to be a battle ground between people intent on being hateful and disruptive and people who are here to enjoy themselves and be part of a quirky, diverse and loving community.

HOPEFULLY this will remain a rather minor issue here, allowing the comments to always stay on and foster more connections and more conversations and more love and more weirdness; allowing my beloved houseguests to always have a virtual couch to crash on.


But as for the trolls…



…MY DEAR little trolls, I regret to inform you that there’s no food for you here, nor will there ever be.  Feel free to move on to greener pastures where people are more than happy to feed you.  I leave no table scraps and I keep a pretty clean house so any crumbs for you to lick off the floor are highly unlikely.  There are a million other bridges for you to hide under; corners of the internet that are more than happy to engage you in your sociopathic behavior, but I nor my readers are among them, but I wish you all the best.

AS FOR my welcome houseguests, how do you feel about my policy?  Do you agree or disagree?  Thoughts?  Feelings?  Ideas?  Feel free to share them.


Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick


P.S. – Here is an amazing video by an amazing woman, Maysoon Zayid.  While the thrust of her story isn’t about trolls, she does touch on them briefly and it’s a perfect demonstration as to why I have my policy in place.  No one deserves that kind of verbal and emotional abuse.  No one.



images  ::  the boy and the trolls by john bauer  ::  uknown  ::  via bloggedtopics  ::  unknown  ::  unknown  ::  via new world encyclopedia  ::
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